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Tuesday's Practice Report

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
Having barely caught their breath following Monday’s thrilling 7-5 comeback victory over the Chicago Blackhawks – during which they scored three times in the final 2:24 of the game – the Avalanche hit the ice this morning to get ready for the rematch.

After practice, the Avs hopped on a plane to Chicago, where they will conclude their home-and-home series with the Blackhawks on Wednesday night. 

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According to forward David Jones, the short span of time between the two games lends itself to a rivalry of sorts.

“It definitely makes for a bit of a rivalry for a couple days here,” said Jones. “One of the good things is that they’re fresh in your mind. You prepare individually for each team, so when you go back-to-back you remember the tendencies. You don’t forget what they do. That being said, it’s going to be a different game in their rink.”

But is there really a lot that you can take from a game like the one the teams played on Monday night; a wild, back-and-forth scoring spree that ended with 12 total goals?

“It was definitely very offensive, more offensive than we’d like to keep most of these games,” said Jones. “We took a lot from their play in the offensive zone especially. It goes to show that they’re very opportunistic and when they shoot they can find the net. We’re going to have to play harder in our own end and not let them get set up to take those shots that got them five goals.”

It was apparent that Matt Duchene was comfortable going up against the Blackhawks. The second-year center tied his career highs in goals (2) and points (3) on Monday night, which included the game-winning goal late in the third period.

Duchene believes that Chicago’s style of play is unique, in a way, for a team from the Western Conference.

“They’re a little bit different for a Western team,” said Duchene. “Most Western teams like to kind of grind it out, dump it in and use the body. These guys have that component, but they like to run-and-gun a little bit offensively. We want to limit their offense and get to their ‘D’ as much as we did last night.”

Injury Updates
The Avalanche won’t be receiving any reinforcements from the injured list for Wednesday’s game.

T.J. Galiardi – out since Nov. 9 with a wrist injury – took part in a full-contact practice today and will travel with the team to Chicago, but won’t be available to play against the Blackhawks. There is still no firm date set for his return to the lineup.

Colorado will also continue to be without the services of Milan Hejduk, who sustained a groin injury during Friday’s contest against Atlanta and has missed the past two games. Hejduk will not join the team on its quick road trip and will be reevaluated on Thursday. In an encouraging sight, the veteran did skate this morning prior to practice.

Craig Anderson will once again get the start in goal for Colorado.

Roster News
In roster news, forward David Van Der Gulik and defenseman Kevin Montgomery have been reassigned to the Lake Erie Monsters.

Van Der Gulik was recently cleared to return to action after recovering from a knee injury he suffered on Nov. 9. The forward took the pre-game warm-up on Monday night against the Blackhawks, but was a healthy scratch. In five games with the Avalanche this season, Van Der Gulik recorded two points (1g/1a).

Montgomery was recalled from Lake Erie on Monday and was also a healthy scratch last night.

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